Carbondale, Ill. - There is so much good growing at the Kids Korner garden on Glenview in Carbondale! University of Illinois Extension has partnered with Carbondale Park District's Kids Korner to grow lots of fresh produce in the small giving garden. Kids will get to experience maintaining the vegetable garden and watching the plants grow. They will also learn how to prepare and eat yummy vegetables! This partnership program is appropriately called Growing Together.

Growing Together is a multi-disciplinary special project focused on increasing access to fruits and vegetables in identified Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) networks to help food-insecure families. The project works in partnership with the Illinois Master Gardener and Illinois 4-H youth programs. Through this collaboration, SNAP-Ed funds are provided to build or expand food donation gardens. Produce from the Kids Korner garden will be shared with Good Samaritan Food Pantry. Illinois Master Gardener and Horticulture Educator Austin Little has already led efforts to expand the current raised beds at Kids Korner.

"Growing Together funds are being used in multiple sites throughout southern Illinois to enhance and expand their garden. We're excited to see the Kids Korner produce making its way into the Good Samaritan Food Pantry," said SNAP-Ed Educator Toni Kay Wright.

Superintendent of Childcare at Carbondale Park District Katy Burns said that growing food with children has been such a rewarding experience. “We have grown kale in the past, and I have seen students eat it straight off the stalks! Parents are usually pleasantly surprised at the healthy food choices their children make when given a chance to grow their own food."

Watch for progress photos on the Carbondale Park District's Facebook page or Illinois Extension's local unit YouTube Channel.

Sources:
Trey Anderson, interim executive director, Carbondale Park District, 618-529-4147, tanderson@carbondaleparkdistrict.com
Katy Burns, superintendent of childcare, Carbondale Park District, 618-457-7356, kidskorner@clearwave.com
Toni Kay Wright, SNAP-Ed educator, University of Illinois Extension, 618-993-3304, tkwright@illinois.edu